11 February 2022
By Tom Collins
A recent structural review of the infrastructure of the Dursey Cable car highlighted “some essential works that must be carried out in the short term. These works are deemed essential for the cable car to continue in service. ”
The works relate to the towers which suffered during recent adverse weather events including Storm Barra in December 2021. Cork County Council has been informed that considering their age, condition and likely future exposure to strong winds, these towers must now be reinforced or replaced.
Regrettably, it will not be possible for the cable car to continue in service while these structural works are carried out. As a result, it will be necessary to pause the cable car service from 1st of April 2022 in order to facilitate the essential works.
The cable car service is expected to resume in November 2022 following completion of the works and the renewal of consents from the Commission for Railways Regulation to operate the cable car.
This information is being communicated to residents and land users on Dursey Island and Cork County Council is committed to keeping both residents and visitors updated on the progress of these essential works.
The matter was raised in the Dail this week, when West Cork Independent TD yesterday said:
“At a meeting of Cork County Council’s west Cork municipal district last Monday, the people of the Beara Peninsula were dealt a severe blow with the announcement by the council that the very popular Dursey Island cable car will be suspended from use for seven months from 1 April this year until November 2022. The council has carried out a structural review of the cable. It is deemed that the towers are unsafe at present due to adverse weather damage, including that caused by a recent storm.
This is a major blow to locals and to tourism potential in the Beara area. This, coupled with a separate issue where An Taisce and BirdWatch Ireland are forcing a judicial review of planning permission given recently for a €10 million community development in Dursey, is leaving locals who have communicated with me in shock. I have talked to local residents during the week and they are confident that a local, temporary solution to the cable car closure may be possible if the Minister with responsibility for the islands and senior council officials work with the local community. This solution, if worked on, could save tourism and continue to bring locals and tens of thousands of others to this spectacular tourist attraction. Will the Tánaiste communicate to the Minister, Deputy Humphreys, and the local authority that they should urgently come together to provide necessary funding co-operation to supply a temporary solution?”
Tanaiste Leo Varadkar replied
“I will certainly bring this matter to the attention of the Minister. I know the cable car and for it to be down for seven months would be pretty serious, especially during the tourist season. I do not know the details, but I will certainly let the Minister know that the Deputy has raised the issue.”